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- THE FIRST COMMISSIONERS AND THEIR SUCCESSORS ALTHOUGH twenty-three years have passed since the Brooklyn Fire Department was made a corporate institution, the majority of the men who served as commissioners are alive and well to-day. Hugh MCLAUGHLIN, F. S. MASSEY, William A. BROWN, and Anthony F. CAMPBELL were the first Commissioners the city ever knew. When the bill establishing the new Department was signed by Governor HOFFMAN, in 1869, it was brought to Brooklyn by MCLAUGHLIN and was read in the City HALL. It called for four Commissioners, who were chosen in the manner already described and as named above, and immediately assumed their official duties. MASSEY became president of the board. In November, 1872, A. F. CAMPBELL resigned, and R. M. PHRANER was appointed in his place. In 1873 the governing power at the Department was reduced from a " Four-headed " to a " Three-headed " Commission. F. S. MASSEY, Hugh MCLAUGHLIN and R. M. PHRANER were reappointed by Mayor HUNTER. The latter's term expired July I, 1875. and the vacancy was filled by James RODWELL. In 1876 Mayor SCHROEDER appointed David WILLIAMS, James RYAN and Bernard GALLAGHER as successors to the Fire Commission, and they served from 1877 until 1879, when Mayor HOWELL reappointed Hugh MCLAUGHLIN, and appointed Moses J. WAFER and Phillip F. BRENNAN as associates. They served until June, '80, when they were legislated out of office by the bill which created the " Single-head " Commission, which is in force today. Jacob WORTH was the first to be appointed under that head, and he served from June, '80, until Feb.'82. Col. John N. PARTRIDGE succeeded and remained in office until 1884. Richard H. POILLON served-from 1884 to 1886. and on Feb. 1, 1886 John ENNIS, the present Commissioner, was appointed, and was reappointed in 1888. FREDERICK S.. MASSEY. Frederick S. MASSEY who served as President of the Commission during its first eight years of existence is remembered as a cool-headed, far-seeing official, who assisted materially in piloting the new Department through its infancy. He was born in Watertown Jefferson County, N.Y., in 1839. His grandfather. Hart MASSEY, a native of Vermont was the first settler in that part of the State. The youngest of his seven sons was Marcellus, the father of Frederick S. MASSEY. The latter came to Brooklyn with his parents in 1842. He received his education in Professor Benjamin DWIGHTS school on Livingston Street, near Sidney Place. Leaving school at the age of twenty years he entered the produce commission house of L. Roberts & Co., where he remained until the year 1859. He then became one of the firm of F. A. VAN DYKE, Jr.., Son & Co., he remained there until the firm dissolved. In 1862 he joined the old Volunteer Fire Department, and in six months he was appointed Foreman of Engine Company No"- 14, in Pierrepont Street. He served in that capacity until 1869, when the paid Department was created very largely by his efforts, and served as president of both the " Four- headed and the "Three-headed" Commissions. He was legislated out of office in 1877 by the "Shannon deal," by which all Democratic office-holders were discharged Strange as it seemed at the time, the late David WILLIAMS, who succeeded him as president, was the only Republican on the Commission; his colleagues, Bernard GALLAGHER and James RYAN were Democrats. The same year Mayor HOWELL appointed MASSEY president of the Board of City Works, to succeed General SLOCUM. He was appointed by Mayor HOWELL in 1879, and served until 1881. From that year until 1882 he practiced law and was then appointed a police justice to fill the vacancy in the Gates Avenue Court caused by the death of Judge Francis B. FISHER. At the expiration of the term he was reappointed and served for four years, after which he was succeeded by Judge TIGHE. Since then he has practiced law, and now commands a reputable and remunerative practice. Ex-Judge MASSEY is universally regarded as the father of the present Fire Department and was its mainstay for many years. It was he, who, in 1869, drew up the bill which created the paid Department, took it to Albany, and on the last day of the Legislative session that year succeeded in having it made a law. As president of the Board of Commissioners he secured the passage of a bill which authorized the sale of considerable old and useless fire apparatus which realized about (70,000. He originated the idea of consolidating the Building and Fire Departments, and created the Board of Combustibles, as well as the Firemen's Pension Fund, which now has a bank account of over $100,000. A local daily paper thus speaks of him in its issue of July, 1870: "He commences nothing without first calculating the chances-first surveying the length and breadth of the subject; next examining who are to be engaged in the work, how much and how well they can do, and how long they can endure before beginning to think 'There's been enough of this sort of thing." Positiveness is one of his features, and a frank expression of opinion leaves no person in doubt as to any business with which, he is connected. It is rarely that he goes astray; should he do so, let aio more of that sort approach him ever after." He is a Trustee of the old Volunteer Firemen's Fund and has held that position since 1862. He has been connected with the direction of the Inebriate Home for many years, and was lately elected vice-president of the Board of Directors of that institution. He is a member of the Society of Old Brooklynites. HUGH MCLAUGHLIN. Hugh MCLAUGHIIN, Brooklyn's Under Sheriff, was one of President MASSEY's ablest colleagues on the first Board of Fire Commissioners. He was born in the First Ward in Brooklyn, April 3. 1827, and is a son of the late John MCLAUGHLIN. He was educated at John MURRAY's school, which was then situated under St. James' Church on Jay Street, McGowan's school on Jay near Concord Street, one or two public schools, and finished his education at O'Hagan's school, then held under the old Gothic HALL on Adams Street. He at once turned his attention toward learning a trade and apprenticed himself with Murtha REARDEN, a cooper of Pearl Street. Young MCLAUGHLIN remained with REARDEN until he was twenty years old, and devoted himself to his trade until 1856, when he was appointed a deputy-sheriff by Sheriff Jerome RYERS On The same year he was elected Supervisor of the Second Ward by the Democrats. In 1857 he was reappointed a deputy by Sheriff George REMSEN. The succeeding year found him an Inspector of the Custom House, under President Buchanan. He was reappointed by President LINCOLN and served a second term of four years. In 1866-7 he represented the Second District in the Aldermanic Chamber. His connection with the Fire Department has been a long and WORTHy one. He entered the old Volunteer Department in 1846, and joined Engine Company No. 1 in Prospect Street. Later he became a member of Engine Company No. 6, in Pearl Street, where he remained until the paid Department was organized. In his appointment as Commissioner under the new regime in 1869. He received a well-merited reward for faithful service. From the time of his appointment he was always in favor of any movement which would benefit the Department. When the "Three-headed" system was inaugurated in 1873 Mr. MCLAUGHLIN still kept his place and was legislated out of office for political reasons in 1877. In 1879 he was again appointed and served until 1880, when the "Single-headed" Commission came in. From that year Mr. MCLAUGHLIN retired into private life until 1885 when he was appointed under sheriff by Sheriff Charles B. PARLEY. Sheriff COURTNEY reappointed him in 1891. Mr. MCLAUGHLIN is a member of the Constitution and Portland Clubs and a number of shooting and fishing organizations, in which sports he takes considerable interest. - WILLIAM A. BROWN. William A. BROWN, another of the members of the first Board of Commissioners, was born in Railway, N. J, on September 23, 1835. When he was ten years of age, his parents removed from Rahway and took up their residence in South Brooklyn, where they resided for two years. In the spring of 1847 they moved to Williamsburg, where Mr. BROWN continued his studies in the public school until he arrived at the age of fourteen. In pursuance of his resolution to become self-supporting, he took a position in a New York wholesale cloth house, where he remained for two years. He then took a clerkship with his fathers firm of Hardy & BROWN, lumber dealers, at the foot of North First Street, where he remained for four years. During this time he became quite a popular young man in the Ward in which he lived, and had learned enough about politics to secure a clerkship in the County Register's office. Two years later found him advanced to clerk of the Fourth District Court, in which capacity he served for twelve consecutive years. He cast his first vote in 1856 for James BUCHANAN for President of the United States, and has voted the straight Democratic ticket from that time to the present. Appointed a Fire Commissioner in 1869, he took a useful part in the organization of the new Department, remaining a member of the Board during the term of the " Four-headed " Commission. In January, 1881, Mr. BROWN was appointed an accountant in the Board of Auditors' office, and he still retains that position. He is married and lives at No. 293 South Fifth Street, in the Thirteenth Ward. - ANTHONY F. CAMPBELL. Anthony F. CAMPBELL also was a member of the "Four-headed" Commission Appointed in 1869 to organize the new Fire Department. He was bom in Boston in December, 1822, and while still in his infancy removed to this city with his parents. Early in life he learned the sail-making business; and when he became a young man started in that business for himself on South Street, New York City. He prospered so well in business that a few years later he rented another building on West Street, and an both places he continued to do business until 1860, when he was elected Sheriff of King's County. During the riots of July, 1863, he gave shelter to several hundred negroes who flocked to the jail for protection. On the 9th of March, 1865, President Abraham LINCOLN appointed Mr. CAMPBELL United States Marshal for the Eastern District of New York, for the term of four years; but he resigned the office in 1866 for personal reasons. On July 17, 1868, President Andrew JOHNSON appointed him deputy- postmaster of Brooklyn, in which capacity he served until May, 1869, when he received his appointment as Fire Commissioner. He remained in office until November 1, 1872, when he resigned to look after and improve a handsome country place which he had just purchased. Mr. CAMPBELL was a member of the Wallabout Commission, and he labored hard for seven years to establish what has since been the connecting link between the Eastern and Western Districts. His brother Commissioners, Judge Alexander MCCUE and Seymour L. HUSTED, have since died and so have the contractors who did the work. Mr. CAMPBELL has been a fireman ever since he was old enough to run with a "machine," and is a member of the Veteran Volunteer Firemen's Association of this city. He became a member of the Volunteer Department on May 6, 1844, and attached himself to Franklin Engine Company No. 3, of which Frank STRYCKER was Foreman. In 1846 he organized Lafayette Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, and was Foreman of that company until 1848 when he resigned to organize Mechanic Hose Company No. 2. Two years later he organized and became Foreman of Washington Hose Company No. 6, of which company Sheriff COURTNEY became a member. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Volunteer Department for nineteen years, and served as president of both Boards of Representatives for thirteen consecutive years. On his retirement from the presidency, March 15, 1855, he was presented with a handsomely engrossed set of resolutions, which he esteems very highly. He received a certificate of honorable discharge from the Volunteer Department on the 23d of March, 1857. This certificate, together with those of his appointment as United States marshal, deputy postmaster, and that of his discharge from the Volunteer Department hang neatly framed on the walls of his library. Mr. CAMPBELL, although three score and ten, is still a very active man. He attributes his good health and long life to his custom of spending several months of the year at his country residence. He was a prominent politician in this city for many years, but when he resigned the office of Fire Commissioner, he also resigned all the cares and responsibilities of politics, and has since been seeking such recreation as will make his declining years the most pleasant of his life. He has a wife and family, and resides at No. 137 North Oxford Street. - R. M. PHRANER. Ex-Fire Commissioner R. M. PHRANER, better known in his lifetime as Mark among his intimate friends, was bom in the old Ninth Ward of Brooklyn. While still in his teens he joined the Volunteer Department, and ran with old Engine No. 9. By occupation he was a master bricklayer. He was appointed Fire Commissioner November 1, 1872, to succeed his brother-in-law, Anthony F. CAMPBELL, whose term of office expired on that date. Mr. PHRANER continued in office up to July 1, 1875, when he was succeeded by James RODWELL. In 1883 he was stricken with paralysis, which rendered him Itll partially helpless for the rest of his life. For many years Mr. PHRANER was the leader of the Republican party in the old Ninth Ward, and at the time of his death, which occurred in January, 1888, was an Inspector in the Board of City Works. Beside being an active politician, he was a member in good standing of Clinton Commandery, K. T., Commonwealth Lodge, No. 409, F. and A. M., Orient Chapter, No. 138, R. A. M., and the Veteran and Volunteer Firemen's Associations. - JAMES RODWELL. James RODWELL was appointed by Mayor John W. HUNTER in 1874 as a Fire Commissioner to succeed Commissioner PHRANER in the " Three-headed " Commission. Mr. RODWELL was born in Norfolk, nine miles from London, England, on January 5, 1823, and although rapidly nearing the three-score-and-ten mark in the journey of life, he is still actively engaged in the real estate business, at No. 45 Broadway, Williamsburgh. He came to this country with his parents in 1832, the " cholera year." During the two years' residence of the family in New York City, Mr. RODWELL attended a public school in Rivington Street. In 1834 the family removed to Williamsburgh and took up their residence on First Street, near South First Street. Mr. RODWELL's father was a mason builder by trade, and when the family settled in Williamsburgh, young James worked with his father during the day, and attended night school. He continued in his father's employ until he arrived at the age of twenty-one, when he launched into the world on his own responsibility as a builder of no little importance, and at the same time took unto himself a wife. In the latter part of 1844 he joined the Volunteer Fire Department, attaching himself to Protection Engine Company No. 2. In 1857 he was elected a Commissioner of the Volunteer Department, in which capacity he served with Commissioners Richard HARDING, William HANSEN, Demas S. STRONG and Mr. MEEKS, for five years, when he severed his connection with the Volunteer Department. Under the " Three-headed " Commission, Mr. RODWELL had the entire supervision of the Building Department, and it was during this period that the Municipal Building was erected. As a Fire Commissioner he superintended the removal of 287 bodies from the ruins of the Brooklyn theatre fire. As a builder, he has erected some very fine buildings in the city of Brooklyn, and among them St. John's College for Girls at Willoughby and Summer Avenue, the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, at Bushwick and De Kalb Avenues, the Roman Catholic Church at Lewis and Willoughby Avenues, St. Vincent's and St. Paul's Church on North Sixth Street, All Soul's Church on South Ninth Street, the Forty-Seventh Regiment Armory at Lynch and Marcy Avenues, a large tin factory- on South Ninth Street, the office building of the Williamsburgh Gas Light Company at the comer of South Second Street and Bedford Avenue. He also built three sugar-houses in Williamsburgh and Greenpoint for Winchen, Dick, Sierck & Company, and any number of handsome and costly residences in the Eastern District. He retired from the building business about three years ago, and has since been engaged in the real estate business. Mr. RODWELL is an owner of real estate, and is a director in the King's County Savings Bank, the Manufacturers National Bank, the Williamsburgh Fire Insurance Company, and is president of the Cypress Hills Cemetery Company. He lives at No. 91 Hancock Street. - DAVID WILLIAMS. David WILLIAMS was at one time a prominent figure in the Brooklyn Fire Department. He died, in fact, while holding office as president of the "Three-headed"' Commission. He was born in New York City in the year 1838. After passing through the public schools with credit, he entered the National Law School at Poughkeepsie, and was, in due course of time, admitted to the Bar. He practised his profession for some years in partnership with his brother, Sidney WILLIAMS. Politics always possessed a charm for him; and, upon attaining his majority, he became an enthusiastic and active Republican. For four successive years he was elected chairman of the General Committee of his party in Brooklyn. Senator CONKLING was one of his closest friends. When a delegate to the National Republican Convention he made himself conspicuous by his endeavor to secure the nomination of General GRANT for a third term in the presidential chair. On November 5, 1877, he was made one of the " Three-headed" Commission of Fire and Buildings, and was at the same time appointed to the office of president of that Department. His colleagues were James RYAN and Bernard GALLAGHER, both of whom survived him. Their term lasted till September 5, 1879. Being a ready and impressive speaker and possessed of unusual vigor of mind and energy of body, his services were naturally in constant demand by his political party. He was, in consequence, much before the public, and became widely known and very popular. Mr. WILLIAMS married a Miss Sarah GILE, who, with her four children, survives him. He had two sisters and four brothers. Samuel and Edward are retired gentlemen, living at their country seats in Jersey, and Sidney is a lawyer, practising at the Brooklyn Bar. John WILLIAMS is dead. His mother, who was a remarkable woman in many ways, died at the advanced age of ninety-two, within the last three years. His parents, being Baptists, brought him up to their religious persuasion. He also belonged to the Masonic fraternity. Never physically strong, he yet always displayed great nervous energy. Chronic pneumonia, against which he had fought for years, at last overpowered him, and he died July 22, 1879, at his home in Brooklyn. - JAMES RYAN. James RYAN, who was one of the "Three-headed " Commission of the Department of Fire and Buildings, appointed by Mayor SCHROEDER in 1877, was born in the County of Clare, Ireland, June 10, 1844. He came to America with his parents in 1849. His father, Thomas RYAN, located himself in the Fifth Ward, Brooklyn, and lived there continuously up to November, 1891, when he died at the age of eighty years. Young RYAN was educated in Public School No. 7, and in the School of the Assumption. At the age of sixteen he entered the hat manufacturing establishment of his uncle, John GUERIN, in the Fifth Ward, as an apprentice, and served there until he reached his majority. He then engaged in business for himself, and opened a hat store at No. 169 Fulton Street, where he remained for twelve years, assisted by his brother John. His appointment to a fire commissionership was gratifying not only to the Democratic party but to the general public, which regarded him as a man well fitted for the post. He did not disappoint them, as his career was marked by a display of good judgment and executive ability. Mr. RYAN held his office from November 5, 1877, to September 5, 1879. The records show that during that period there were more fires and less losses to "the insurance companies than at any time subsequent to the creation of the Department. In 1880 he closed his store on Fulton Street and accepted the position of foreman in a New York hat warehouse, and has held that position ever since. Mr. RYAN resides at No. 166 High Street, which has been his home for the last sixteen years. His aged mother, who is an invalid, lives with him as well as a sister and a brother. Mr. RYAN never married. In religion he is a devout Catholic, in politics an ardent Democrat. He possesses those characteristics which invariably make a man popular; and a charitable and kindly disposition and unprejudicial public spirit. - BERNARD GALLAGHER. Bernard GALLAGHER stands to-day in the foremost ranks of building contractors both in the city of Brooklyn and in New York. He was born in the County of Tyrone, Ireland, on June 29, 1838, and came to this country in June, 1845, with his parents, Owen and Rosa GALLAGHER, who located at Williamsburgh. He attended the public schools until thirteen years of age, when he began to learn the trade of ropemaker. He prosecuted this line of work for three years, when he relinquished it and turned his attention to carpentering. He served two years' apprenticeship with Owen MCCARRON, the father of Senator Patrick J. MCCARRON. After passing four years more in the apprenticeship of William H. NOE on Schermerhorn Street, he worked as a journeyman carpenter until the autumn of 1861, when he reached his twenty-third year. He then went into business for himself as a carpenter and builder. On November 5, 1877, Mayor SCHROEDER appointed him one of the " Three-headed " Commissioner of Fire and Buildings, which office he held until September 5, 1879. He was one of the Commissioners who went into office when the "Shannon deal" decapitated Messrs. MASSEY, MCLAUGHLIN and RODWELL. The law at that time required one of the Commissioners of the Department to be a practical builder, as the Buildings Department was amalgamated with the Fire Department. Mr. GALLAGHER's knowledge of that business in all its details eminently fitted him for the position. He was regarded as one of the most useful members of the Board. Since the expiration of his term, Mr. GALLAGHER has devoted himself entirely to business. On July 25, 1866, he married Mary E., second daughter of George B. MCGRATH of Brooklyn. His family now consists of two sons and five daughters. Mr. GALLAGHER is a man of medium stature. He has iron gray hair, an exceedingly intellectual expression and manners which show at times great nervous energy. He belongs to the Roman Catholic Church and in politics has allied himself to the Democratic party. For ten years he was president of the order of the Sons of St. Patrick in this city and is also a member of the Hanover and Windsor Clubs. - MOSES J. WAFER. Moses J. WAFER, who was a member of the " Three-headed " Commission from September 5, 1879, to June 24, 1880, was born in the County Wexford, Ireland, on the 28th day of October, 1850, and at the age of two years came with his parents to this country, and settled in the Sixth Ward, in which ward Mr. WAFER still resides. He received his education in the public schools of Brooklyn. At the age of fourteen he left school to take a clerkship in a grocery store. Three years later he went to learn the carpenter's trade with a well-known builder of this city. He worked seven years at the trade, and then turned his attention to the liquor business, in which he is still engaged. Owing to his thorough knowledge of the building business, he was appointed in 1878, an Inspector in the Building Department and detailed to duty in the kerosene bureau. He was appointed a Fire Commissioner September 5,1879, and served in that capacity up to June 24, 1880, when the " Three-headed " Commission was legislated out, and the " Single-headed" Commission was created. In 1884, Mr. WAFER was elected to the Assembly from the First District, and was reflected from the same District for three successive terms thereafter. In 1889 he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mr. KANE in the Board of Aldermen, and in 1891 was elected from the First Aldermanic District for a full term, which expires January 1, 1893. Mr. WAFER is married and lives at No. 124 Harrison Street. - PHILIP F. BRENNAN. Philip F. BRENNAN was born in Illinois, in 1843, and came to Brooklyn when very young. In 1861, when the war of the Rebellion broke out, though only a young lad, he enlisted in the Fourteenth Regiment of Brooklyn, and served throughout the war. After the war he embarked for a time in mercantile business, but finally identified himself with Republican party politics, and for two years he gave his whole time to it. He then became a commercial traveller for a large house in New York, and only occasionally visited his old comrades. He was always a familiar figure around the City HALL, and politically he was much sought after. With settled habits his career might have been a brilliant one but erratic methods and a roving disposition militated against him. In 1871, he received an appointment in the Internal Revenue Department. About that time he took a deal of interest in the advancement of the Grand Army of the Republic, and he was a warm supporter of General James JOURDAN, then one of its leading exponents. For several years he again " played with politics," but always seemed to meet with adversity. On September 5, 1879, he was appointed a Fire Commissioner, by Mayor HOWELL, along with Hugh MCLAUGHLIN and Moses J. WAFER, to succeed Commissioners WILLIAMS, GALLAGHER, and RYAN. In June of the following year, BRENNAN, along with his colleagues, was legislated out of office by the "Single-headed " Commission bill. Later on he drifted into the ranks of the Independent Democrats, and was a member of the political organization started by General Henry W. SLOCUM and John W. FLAHERTY, and afterward of Jefferson HALL. Later he returned to his old party and was a Republican at the time of his death, which occurred in March, 1888.
- JACOB WORTH. Jacob WORTH, the first Fire Commissioner appointed under the act of the Legislature reducing the number of Commissioners from three to one, has had a phenomenal career. He is a striking example of a self-made man, and deserves to be classed among those who have won honor and become prominent in public affairs through native intelligence, untiring industry and faithfulness. He was born in New York City, in May, 1838. His opportunities for acquiring an education were exceedingly limited, for at the age of eight he was put to work in a rope-walk, where he served a six-years' apprenticeship. He then obtained employment as a teamster, and later on took up the occupation of a boatman. At the age of eighteen, he entered the United States Navy as an apprentice. During several long cruises he acquired not only a fair education but much worldly experience, which was of great benefit to him in later life. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Mr. WORTH enlisted in the 139th Regiment, New York Volunteers. While serving with this regiment he made a record of which any man might be proud. In 1863, in recognition of his services, he was commissioned captain in the 84th Regiment, in which regiment he remained until it was mustered out of service at the close of the war. He was in a great many noted engagements, among them the Seven Days' Battle of the Wilderness, and those of the Peninsula campaign. After the war he took up his residence in the i6th Ward of Brooklyn, and began to interest himself in public affairs. Politically, he was a stanch Republican, and it was not long before his right to be a leader began to be felt in the ward. His popularity had become so great in the latter part of 1864 that he received the nomination for Assembly in the Ninth District, and was elected by an overwhelming majority. His constituents were so well pleased with his career in Albany, that they continued to reelect him for six successive terms. In 1879 Mr. WORTH was appointed Commissioner of City Works, by Mayor HOWELL, and he is accredited with having saved considerable money for the city government during his time of service. On June 24, 1880, Mayor James HOWELL named Mr. WORTH the first appointee of the "Single-head " Commission. During his administration, which continued up to February 7, 1882, many changes were made, and new laws and regulations introduced into the Department. One of the most important improvements made in the Department by Mr. WORTH is the present system of fire-alarm telegraph. Mr. WORTH was a presidential elector in 1868, and again in 1876 ; has been a delegate to nearly every Republican State Convention since 1876, and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876, and again in 188o. He was a member of the King's County Republican Committee for over twenty years, and served as a member of the Republican State Committee several years. He was elected a State Senator in 1885, and reflected in 1887, and ran for Congress against Mr. BLISS, but was defeated. Mr. WORTH is an old volunteer fireman, and ran with Hose Company No. 2 for several years. He has a family, and lives at No. 94 Lee Avenue, in the Eastern District. - RICHARD H. POILLON. Richard H. POILLON, who was Fire Commissioner in 1884 and 1885, was born in New York City on the 5th of November, 1846. He is the eldest son of the late Richard POILLON, a member of the firm of C. & R. POILLON, shipbuilders, of New York and Brooklyn. He was educated in the public schools and at the Polytechnic Institute, from which he graduated in 1864. He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1867 and graduated from there with high honors in 1871. After leaving West Point he started on a tour around the world, and was a member of the tourist party, who under the direction of United States Minister DE LONG. first penetrated into the interior of Japan. Returning from this tour, which occupied about nine months, Mr. POILLON entered the United States regular army as a commissioned officer, and served about three years on the frontier, principally in California and Arizona. In 1874 he resigned from the army and returned to Brooklyn, where he engaged in the lumber business on the Gowanus Canal. Subsequently, he retired from the lumber business to accept the position of chief Deputy Collector in the Internal Revenue office, under Colonel Rodney C. WARD, then Collector of the First District, New York. Mr. POILLON resigned this position in 1882 to accept that of Deputy Fire Commissioner, which was tendered him by Commissioner John N. PARTRIDGE, to succeed whom, in 1884, Duputy POILLON was appointed Fire Commissioner. Having had the experience of two years' service as deputy, Commissioner POILLON assumed office with an accurate knowledge of its duties and requirements. Although greatly hampered by the passage of the Underground Telegraph bill, June 14, 1884, Commissioner POILLON, believing that the efficiency of the Department was greatly dependent upon the strength of its telegraphic service, bent all his energies toward making the latter as effective as possible during his term of office, and succeeded in affording protection to certain sections of 'the city which had been previously neglected. Commissioner POILLON was present in person, and in direct communication with Chief NEVINS at all the principal fires which occurred during his term as Commissioner. It was during his administration that the fire-boat, Seth Low, was built, and several necessary companies were organized. Commissioner POILLON favored the organization of an insurance patrol for the protection of the dry goods district; and also, owing to the increase of high buildings, strongly recommended the organization of a life-saving corps. When he was succeeded by Commissioner ENNIS, Mr. POILLON devoted himself to the fire insurance business in this city and New York. In 1879 he was appointed Engineer officer with the rank of major on the staff of Brigadier General E. L. MOLINEUX, a position which he held while Generals BROWNELL and Ward commanded the Fourth Brigade. Transcribed for the Brooklyn Pages by Mimi Stevens BROOKLYN FIRE DEPT. Chapter 6 Back To HISTORY of the BROOKLYN FIRE DEPT. Index Back To FIRE Index Back To CIVIL Index Back To BROOKLYN Main